The leadership of Greece’s armed forces is reportedly examining all possible scenarios given the possible challenge by Turkey of Greece’s sovereignty in the wider region of Kastellorizo in the southeastern Aegean.
For this purpose, all branches of the Greek military have been been taking all necessary precautions, reports said at the weekend.
Athens is well aware that Turkey is doing all it can to dispute Greece’s complete sovereignty over an area stretching 70 nautical miles southeast of Kastellorizo and believes that Ankara’s militarization of the Eastern Mediterranean is geared toward this direction.
A case in point is the Fatih drillship anchored off the western coast of Cyprus under the protection of the Turkish military, which is presented as a symbol of Turkey’s dominance in the region.
The lack of understanding between the two sides was highlighted last week in the meeting between Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis and his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.
The lack of any substantial progress during the meeting further demonstrated the differences between the two men despite the frequent contacts they have had over the past four years.
Moreover, Turkey appears to be trying to divert Greece’s attention to the north Aegean as well, with two research vessels having been sighted there since last week.
Given that no navigational telex has been issued, it is not clear what the purpose of these vessels is other than to keep Athens guessing.
Nonetheless, certain low-level moves to improve the climate between the two countries are moving ahead, such as the shipping link between Lavrio and Cesme on the Turkish coast, which, in theory, will be launched tomorrow, having been repeatedly postponed.
Meanwhile, according to sources, the political changes expected in Greece after next week’s general election could pave the way for a resumption of negotiations to resolve the decades-long Cyprus dispute.
However, given the activities of the Fatih and Yavuz drillships off the coast of Cyprus, the thought of a resumption of negotiations at this point in time is seen as far-fetched.